Experiencing Progressive Rock: A Listener’s Companion

Robert G.H. Burns. Rowman & Littlefield, $40 (180p) ISBN 978-1-4422-6602-5
Burns, a former studio bassist, delivers a short but insightful look at progressive rock, the musical genre developed in the late 1960s that was “not concerned with producing three-minute hit songs.” Burns demonstrates how “virtuosity, visual impression, and musical eclecticism” became the hallmarks of prog rock through his detailed explorations of the music of such pioneers as King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, and Emerson Lake & Palmer. Burns explores the music’s development, beginning with early British bands such as Colosseum, who added jazz overtones to a blues-rock style; the Beatles, who incorporated the Mellotron, an electronic keyboard capable of simulating the sound of a large orchestra, into Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; and the emergence of bands such as 10cc and Yes that combined progressive elements with “complex pop sensibilities.” Burns ends with a discussion of the bands that have continued the progressive tradition of blending new technology and instrumental complexity with diverse musical approaches, such as the Swedish metal band Meshuggah. Burns’s book cogently explores the high points of an adventurous, innovative genre. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2018
Release date: 06/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 180 pages - 978-1-4422-6603-2
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